Recording at studio: 1000$
Album artwork: 5$
Album of the year, all years: Priceless
The most well known underground metal act of all history. This is the history of British diamond head. A story of obvious passion for music, and writing all the riffs that exist in todays metal world. The sad part about writing every good riff, and being underground is that everybody steal your stuff, and take the praise for your work. Those who did, include large names of thrash such as Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus and Kreator.
Opening the album is the title track, The first of many riff-monsters to come. Said riffs tend to have a bluesy feel to them, such as the chorus, and the solo part. This does not say that it is boring and structured, this is full energy ahead old-school heavy metal, apart from the vocals, that get a bit melancholic in the verses.
Upping the speed, the second track, The Prince, is one where the bass makes it's presence more than known. Underneath the rhythm focused guitar riffing, (of a motörhead-ish quality) the bass spew out melodic licks, rolls and markings.
The use of keyboard in the intro is interesting, as very few bands used electric keys in 1980, and even fewer metal bands did the same.
"Sucking my love" comes of as one of the weaker tracks on the album. The first half lacks a bit in the riffing department COMPARED to the rest of the album. The second part is a calmer part with pretty good solos, and a couple having sexual intercourse in the background. This one is not the song you listen to first.
But now. Here comes the song that everybody knows, but nobody knows who wrote. The Metallica cover that people know is nothing compared to the original. The mood of the opening march, the fierceness of the solo, the raw energy of the riff. Nothing of that is carried on in the Metallica cover of "Am I Evil". The vailing vocals that convey the feeling of an abandoned kid, who seek vengeance on the world, this can't be redone.
Not only did the guys in Diamond head manage to write one of the greatest songs of all time, but they also perform it so "right". A perfect example of how to give a song energy, even in studio. That is what makes this song so extraordinary.
Changing the focus away from the raw, energetic proto-thrash madness that is "Am I Evil", "Sweet and innocent" has more thee feel of 70's rhythm-rock, along with a catchy chorus, that has most people singing along. The choir adds to the feeling of "grandness", that the riff inspires.
"It's electric" has a riff that could easily be a commercial hair-metal band, that there would spring up so all too many of, later in the decade. The simple, catchy chorus makes this one of the songs that would act as inspiration for bands to come. the riffing in the rest of the song is decent, and it is a good track overall.
Ending the album on a high note is the intense "helpless". Energetic riffing, a prominent bass, and the best, and most interesting vocal performance of the album. This is all that is needed to know. The song is bad-ass. listen to it!
The songs are generally very varied, and changes happen all the time. interest is never lost, and energy is high through almost all parts.
The final point i have to make, is that this album is such a pioneer of thrash, the riffs may have bluesy qualities, but the style is close to the old-school of thrash.
If you are a fan of Megadeth or Metallica, listen actively for riffs that sound familliar, you're bound to find quite a few.
Godlike riffs all the way, good bassmanship, and strong vocals, put together in great songwriting, this is a well earned 9.5/10.
Diamond Head - Lightning to the Nations (mediafire)
Lightning to the Nations